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Italy's Exit From World Cup Qualification Sees The End For Its Veterans

15 November 2017

Italian fans were struggling to come to terms with the prospect of a World Cup without their national team.

Sweden sat back on their advantage and, despite the hosts enjoying 76% possession, they failed to find the breakthrough - Italy's best chance saw goalkeeper Robin Olsen palm away substitute Stephan El Shaarawy's thumping late volley.

The Swedes in the 12th time and first since 2006, qualified in the final stage of the world Cup.

"Resign? I don't know".

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"It's a very heavy result to bear, because I was absolutely convinced that we had this ferocious desire to overcome the obstacle".

Napoli winger Lorenzo Insigne made one brief appearance at the 2014 World Cup and is now widely considered Italy's most talented player.

"But what is sure is that the shock will be even worse for my father".

Italy on Monday failed to qualify for the FIFA World Cup for the first time in 60 years and as the entire country mourned their national side failing to make the grade, Juventus' Argentine forward Paulo Dybala came out in support of his Italian teammates with a moving Instagram post.

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"The team that played at Euro 2016 was not as good as this one, particularly in attack, but there was nobody in that team who would not give 100 percent and the coach [Antonio Conte] assumed all the responsibility. He is 54 years old and he has never had to go through something like this".

At the other end, Sweden keeper Olsen saved well from midfielders Jorginho and Alessandro Florenzi, who also clipped an acrobatic volley narrowly wide.

"I read yesterday that De Rossi said he wouldn't want to be subbed in, because they needed a striker".

Director Gabriele Romagnoli told La Gazzetta dello Sport: "It's like sitting down at a table full of motivation, yet you find yourself sitting there with just a knife and fork, but no plates".

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"It is an intolerable football shame, an indelible stain", the newspaper said.

Italy's Exit From World Cup Qualification Sees The End For Its Veterans